Video interviews are on the upswing for job interviews. Perhaps you believe you need to do a video interview because you want to work in the same city you are living. 33935488_sVideo technology is being used to screen local candidates before bringing them in for a face-to-face interview too.

Recently, a local university asked a client for a video group interview. It is stressful enough to worry about how to communicate with one person, so being prepared is extra important when the interview process becomes more complicated with multiple interviewers. Let’s discuss some ways to be ready in advance of the interview.

Know Your Video Capabilities

The one thing you do not want to worry about the day of your video interview is the technical part or technology. Advance preparation is will increase your confidence on the day of the interview. Here are some things you can do to decrease technology mishaps:

  • Do you have good equipment for a video call? Are you using an integrated webcam system from your monitor or an external webcam? Test to make sure it is working with someone you know and ask them how the reception is on their end. If you need to borrow a webcam or buy one, do so in advance so you can test the equipment and make adjustments.
  • If your equipment will let you record yourself, this is an ideal way for you to test  your video quality and to make sure your environment represents you in the best light.
  • In your test run, you can adjust the camera and where you are sitting to find the best spots. Do some experimenting with moving around so you know when you are in and out of frame.
  • Do a couple of dry runs to become comfortable using the webcam. You don’t want to be fiddling with it on the day of your video interview.
  • Give your equipment a fresh set of batteries and have backups for just for when something happens.
  • Hardwire your connection to the internet to lower other technology failures during your video interview.

Prepare your Environment

The interviewer(s) will see whatever your webcam is showing behind you and hear whatever is in your room. Position the webcam so that there are few distractions for the interviewer(s) on the other end. You want all their attention on you and what you say!

Here are some tips for the day of your video interview:

  • Turn off all phone ringers.
  • Remove pets from the room and make sure they will be quiet, preferably from your house. Perhaps they can go on a play date or spend the day at doggie daycare. You believe your pet is well behaved – consider though if the doorbell rings – will they continue to be quiet?
  • Clear out all clutter and whatever is in view is organized.
  • Examine your chair – does it squeak or is it falling apart?
  • Is the room filled with natural light or do you need another light source?

The Day of the Video Interview

Where your webcam is positioned is very important because that is the camera. Most likely it will built-in at the top of your monitor or attached to the top of your monitor.

When you speak, look at your webcam! Remind yourself with a sticky, something that makes you smile or a small mirror that keeps your attention. It is easy to think that looking straight ahead at monitor is the best position; in reality you will seem to be looking down from the interviewer’s perspective.

Close down all programs on your computer to avoid any unexpected noises, restarts or notifications.

Clear your desk or workspace of all distractions except for any notes you may want to refer to. If possible, find a stand that you can put your notes on that is about the same level as your webcam. This will help you look at the camera/interviewer as you refer to your notes.

Keep your notes away from the microphone if possible to avoid unnecessary noise.

Dress neatly – monochrome works well. Leave the loud prints in the closet.

If you wear make-up, keep it conservative. The webcam will be fairly close to you. Double check that your last meal isn’t attending the meeting too!

During the interview, if you are experiencing any lag in the connection, let your interviewer know so that you can both adjust your timing.

As you we have covered, there are many more considerations to take part in a successful video interview beyond the real interview process.